Thursday, March 02, 2006

Farris Hassan: Immersion Journalism or Immersed in Jihad?

I received an email tonight that led me to the Northeast Intelligence Network. Seems they have been doing a little research on the true nature of Farris Hassan's visit to Iraq. This is the young man that supposedly took off from his school in Florida to go to Iraq, without his parents knowledge. He claimed that he made the trip to put his lessons of his “immersion journalism” class into practice.

Turns out, none of his statements were true. It was found that he was not even enrolled in a journalism class at Pine Crest. His parents knew where he was. In fact, the school confirmed that his father knew of his travels, and authorized his absence from school.

Perhaps most importantly, research and investigation into Dr. Redha Hassan found that he was arrested by the FBI in 1985 for forging 2000 Iraqi passports and military I.D. cards and seeking to forge 2,000 more. Dr. Hassan asked his next-door-neighbor and print store owner Joel Feinstein to make the passports and IDs. According to Feinstein, Dr. Hassan claimed the documents were for his family in Iraq. Feinstein reported the request to the FBI, and became an operational asset for the federal government, leading to Hassan’s arrest. Also arrested were two of Farris's uncles and a "pro-Khomeini" activist identified as Salah Jawad Shubber. Interestingly, Dr. Hassan, who also went by the name Redha K. Alsawaf, was also the President of the now defunct Florida non-profit organization World Orphanage & Refugee Relief Foundation at the time of his arrest. Authorities dropped the charges against Hassan, and Shubber ultimately pled guilty to conspiracy charges.

Farris Hassan's initial trip was to the Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he supposedly bought a ticket to Kuwait City. He said he tried to cross the Kuwait-Iraqi border, but was turned back. He then says he sought assistance from his father, who told him to go to Beirut and stay with friends, which he did for ten days.

While there, met with a media relations officer of the terrorist group Hezbollah at their Central Press Office. This meeting was arranged through the assistance of his hosts – the family’s friends.

Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim organization based in Lebanon and tied to Iran. They have a significant presence in Iraq, and an army that is resolved to drive the Americans out of Iraq. Given the family history, the inconsistencies and the public contradictions, could it be that Hassan was going to Iraq to join Hezbollah to fight against the "American occupation?" Perhaps those are the questions that need to be asked.

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Deb said...

I found this to be quite interesting and shocking. Of course, we won't hear much of this in the mainstream media. Thanks for alerting us to the story.

Barbara said...

Had I not gotten the email from a friend, I would not have done the research and found lots of this. You are right; the mainstream media isn't interested. They heard what they wanted to hear, believed it all, never did any research, according to the Principal at the school.